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Old 02-17-2015, 04:54 PM   #1
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frustrated - two dead fish on tank restart,plz help!

I just re-started my tank as a FOWLR after running a saltwater fish only for 15 years or so. I had a blue throat trigger die (after 12 days in the tank) and then a flame hawkfish die (after 14 days in the tank - 2 days after trigger). Trigger looked good - quit eating went into hiding and died next day. Hawkfish ate well looked great one day, next morning was hiding and died about 8 hours later.

Here is all the info I can think of:

Tank is 125 gallons plus a 25 gallon remote sump.
mechanical filtration and oversized protein skimmer in sump
over 200 pounds live rock (mostly base seeded with live rock - aquacultured stuff from florida that I got from LFS and was in tank less than 30 minutes later)
use RO/DI water for replacement and water changes
Red Sea Coral Pro salt

cycled tank using dead shrimp and feeding hitchhikers
after cycle, ran for 19 days with just hitchhikers on live rock (they are all still alive - urchin that is getting big, three crabs, two clams, several limpets, micro stars)
added clean up crew (clean up crew is all still alive except one of two conchs died - still have 1 conch, 5 turbo snails, 6 peppermint shrimp, and 4 emerald crabs. hard to find the crabs so might not all still be alive but have seen 2 of 4 for sure)
after 45 more days, added 1" flame hawkfish and 3" bluethroat trigger.

I did not see any signs of stress or disease on the fish, but I did not QT them since they were the first fish in.

Fed Trigger Rods Food predator blend
Hawkfish also ate this as well as dried tubifex worms and dried krill
also algae sheets, algae chips and clams (frozen and then thawed) for hitchhikers/cuc

using API test kit, results confirmed with LFS and some strips I had
ammonia 0 since cycle (was between 0 and .25 after adding cuc and then also after adding fish, returned to 0)
nitrites 0 since cycle
nitrate 40 max, usually around 20
PH 8.2
salinity 1.023
temperature 77 degrees

Attached some pics -
first one is overall tank so you can see how much rock there is, etc.
second and third one is left and right sides as they sit today (sorry poor quality)
fourth one is the sump

I feel like I have been patient and tried to do it right, but I am really frustrated right now and not sure what to do next. I hope someone can offer some advice as to what else to check or what next step should be.

Thank you! Joe.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:34 PM   #2
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What did the fish look like when they died? Did the have white spots or coating?


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Old 02-19-2015, 09:13 AM   #3
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The trigger had died sometime during the night and was pale, but no white spots or coating. I was home when the hawkfish died and he looked the same as when he was alive - bright red with no spots, coatings, etc. - eyes looked good.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:04 AM   #4
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Hawkish is a pretty tough fish. I have no answers, but something is seriously wrong when a hawkish goes down.
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:37 PM   #5
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did you acclimate the fish , how did you do it
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